I am surrounded by good Louisiana cooks. My brother went to college in New Orleans, my close friend went to law school there, and many of their friends from the area have migrated up to Memphis. And they love to cook up a good bayou feast. So in all honesty, I don’t cook much Cajun or Creole food – I leave it to the experts.
My brother makes a mean gumbo, so I pretty much let him be in charge of that process. For my birthday last year, I was surprised with a homemade dinner party of grilled boudin, crawfish ettouffe and Doberge cake. I frequently get a call that one or other of the Louisiana natives has been back home and brought back a cooler of crawfish or gulf shrimp or other local seafood, so they are whipping up a party. When my brother visits Louisiana, he comes back with Natchitoches meat pies and crawfish pies. All of this is to say, I get plenty of good Nawlins’ food – from other folks.
But I felt I ought to have a least one good Creole recipe in my back pocket. And the quickie Monday red beans and rice I make for my self only just doesn’t count. So asked one of my friends, who is a native of Monroe, Louisiana, for a good recipe. And just like a man, he gave me a set of instructions, as if I wanted to build a set of bookshelves, more than a recipe. But God love him, he had the right idea, and a solid foundation. With a little work, I transformed his manual into a recipe that has become a favorite of mine when I need a little Louisiana fix. This Shrimp Creole has all the classic flavors of the bayou without having to master the art of making a good roux.
Wild American shrimp is by far the best choice for this Louisiana dish and is available fresh or frozen. For extra-authenticity, look for Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning.
1 ½ cups long grain white rice
3 ½ cups water
2 Tablespoons butter
3 celery ribs
1 green bell pepper, ribs and seed removed
1 medium white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions
1 Tablespoon Creole (or Cajun) seasoning
1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can mild diced tomatoes with green peppers
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp fresh or frozen and thawed
Stir the rice into the water in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil and boil until almost all the water is absorbed and little air bubbles form in the rice, about 10 – 12 minutes, stirring a few times to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat and tightly cover the pan.
While the rice is cooking, finely dice the celery, green bell pepper, onion and green onion. Mince the garlic. In a large Dutch oven (4 to 5 quarts), melt the butter over medium high heat. Drop in the “trinity” – the celery, pepper and onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until all the vegetables are soft and the onion and celery are translucent, about 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic and green onions and cook a further 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the Creole seasoning and stir. Cook a further minute until fragrant. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a full rolling boil. Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Drop in the shrimp, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave covered for at least 10 minutes to fully cook the shrimp.
Fluff the rice with a fork and serve it in bowls with the Shrimp Creole ladled over the top.
The Shrimp Creole can be made up to one day ahead and keep tightly covered in the fridge. Gently reheat over low heat before serving over rice.
Ed Schenk says
Great post. I love Shrimp Creole ( and anything else Creole/Cajun). Thanks for the recipe!
Delicious! Perfect for a Saints win and snowy weather!!!
PC, this looks fantastic! I will definitely add this to my growing collection of Nawlins recipes.
Richard Stevens says
Looks wonderful! And It’s Gluten Free!
I am so making this- 🙂
Alison @ Hospitality Haven says
Sounds delicious!! Glad I found your blog.
Stephanie Manley says
I love all things cajun. After being up north for awhile, and coming back down south, reignited my love for cajun food. I couldn’t agree with you more on where to get the shrimp from, farm raised shrimp, aren’t tasty.
Loved the Mardi Gras beads too 😉 Tis the season!
Hi! This looks great, and I can’t wait to try it. It’s been snowing and cold here, so it’s the perfect weather for it, unless, of course you’re sitting on a balcony in the French Quarter. Been awhile since I’ve been there, but this recipe will surely bring those fond memories rushing back. Thanks!
This arrived just in time for me to make it to take to a friend who just had an operation. It made plenty for two casseroles – and we loved it!
One of your best recipes yet – we made it last night for a dinner party and everyone raved. Keep them coming!!!!
I passed this Shrimp Creole recipe on to my mother in law, and she made it for a dinner party the other night. Everyone raved. I wish that I could have taken credit for the receipe – but I had to brag on the SPOON!!! I think you will have several new fans.
Bill Murray says
If you make this a day before do you cook the shrimp then as well or do you cook them when you reheat the day you are using the dish?
The Runaway Spoon says
Leave the shrimp out until you reheat – otherwise they are likely to get tough. Enjoy!
Living The Sweet Life says
I love creloe/ cajun spiced foods and Shirmp Creloe tops that list. This is a great recipe!!
Sheila Floer says
I hae been making shrimp creole for years and was surprised how much this recepe resembles the one in my head. Wherever I got it, I am glad to know it is halfway authentic. I wonder if my spices resemble the Cajan seasoning. I will have to go looking.